College of Coastal Georgia News
By Tiffany King
Sophomores Peyton Cuttino and John Lemmo want to build a long-lasting legacy of soccer at the College of Coastal Georgia. Cuttino and Lemmo have been instrumental in leading an exciting inaugural competitive Men's Mariner Soccer Club soccer season this fall, and they hope to see the sport become a permanent part of the College.
Their first step was to revive the Soccer Club. Cuttino, an interdisciplinary studies major, serves as team captain and president of the club. When he first came to the College, he and some friends would get together and play soccer on campus. When he heard that the Mariner Soccer Club was without a leader, he decided to step up and take on the role.
Lemmo, a marketing manager, is vice president and creates practice drills and game plays for the team. During his freshman year, he also heard about the Soccer Club and had a difficult time figuring out how to get involved.
"When I got here, I began asking around about the club and no one could give me a definite answer on who the leader was," Lemmo said. "Peyton was really the one that took the torch and started it all up again."
Helping with the Mariner Soccer Club are Dr. David Mulry, professor of English, who is the team's coach; Dr. Jim Lynch, director of Institutional Effectiveness/interim director of International Education, who is the faculty advisor of the club; and Mike Medlin, Director of Recreation and Wellness, who tends to the club's logistics in advance of the games.
Lemmo and Cuttino quickly learned what it took to get the Soccer Club up and running again. The club is now part of the Southeast Collegiate Soccer Alliance (SCSA) and competes in the Coastal Plains Division with colleges such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Flagler College, and the University of Florida. In order to be eligible for the Soccer Alliance, the club was required to play three friendly games against other colleges to prove their determination in becoming an organized collegiate club sport. This fall the Mariner Soccer Club began the fall semester as proud members of the SCSA.
Cuttino and Lemmo are also learning how to manage the team's budget, with the help of their treasurer, sophomore Tyler Daniel. They are learning how to budget for travel expenses, pay for referees, purchasing and maintaining equipment, and buying new apparel for the team. For Lemmo in particular, working with the budget has been a new, enjoyable experience.
"I've never worked with anything like that before. It's cool to me, because I'm a marketing major, and I get to make some decisions and allocate money," Lemmo said.
One of the biggest lessons they are learning is how to be effective team managers.
"We've learned a lot about managing people. Sometimes it's hard to get us all there on the same day for practice or for travelling, and some have to finish work before they leave, but we're continuing to grow," Cuttino said. The soccer club started with 14 players and has since increased to approximately 25 for the start of the new season.
Lynch is very proud of all the hard work the players are doing to prove themselves.
"With this being the inaugural season playing in the Southeast Collegiate Soccer Alliance through the accreditation of the National Intramural and Recreation Sports Association, the Men's Mariner Soccer Club has done exceptionally well," Lynch said. "The opportunity to be part of a competitive soccer team has given this talented group of young men an outlet to represent the College playing the sport they love."
Although the club is about having fun playing soccer, Cuttino and Lemmo take the team and their roles very seriously. During away games they use the time to build camaraderie among the players, strategize before the game, and take advantage of being able to promote the College.
"When we go on trips, we're focused more on winning than on only having a bunch of fun, " Lemmo said.
Cuttino and Lemmo hope that soccer becomes the next sport integrated into the Coastal Georgia Athletics program.
"The goal is for us to create a soccer team here, where students can be on scholarships," Lemmo said. "It would be an actual college sport and we want to start by proving that we can actually beat these teams."
So far the Soccer Club hasn't won any games, but Cuttino and Lemmo are confident that, as the team continues to develop with experience and gain more players, they will make it to the Region 2 Soccer Tournament of the NIRA National Soccer Championships. The team hasn't suffered huge losses in the games, Lemmo said, with final scores usually being 3-0 or 3-1. They plan to schedule more games against teams in The Sun Conference, which the College is a member of, such as Ave Maria University, where they feel the better matched, Cuttino said. Lemmo wants to see the club grow to 40 members, where they will have the ability to alternate players for away games and designate sub-teams for friendly games and official competitions.
Cuttino and Lemmo are committed to sticking with the club until they graduate and then pass it on to the next president and vice president.
"I've already learned a lot, and I'm sure there's more to learn about managing the team," said Cuttino. "I love playing soccer and I don't think I'll ever stop playing soccer—whether it's on a team or just for fun. To go from meeting John, to understanding how everything works, shows how much it's already grown. It's really been fun."
Coming up this season, the Soccer Club will face Dalton State College, University of North Florida, and Jacksonville University. Information about upcoming games will be posted around campus and in the Campus Center.
Mariner Soccer Club interest meetings are held every Friday at 5 p.m. with free pizza in the Student Activity Center, in either The Anchor or meeting room. Soccer practice is held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 5 p.m. on the soccer field.
Keep up with the team on Instagram at @MarinerSoccer or email Peyton Cuttino at firstname.lastname@example.org.